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ice cubes for cool growers

This is a discussion on ice cubes for cool growers within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm sure you've all run into the "ice orchids," phals with instructions to water by ...

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    Default ice cubes for cool growers

    I'm sure you've all run into the "ice orchids," phals with instructions to water by putting a couple ice cubes on the plant once a week. While I can't think the cold is good, it does avoid over-watering.

    I don't have a decent cool area in my house and have a few orchids that would like it cooler--like kingianums. I'm wondering if it would help if I tried the ice cube thing with them. Has anyone tried anything like this? Is it too off the wall?

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    Although I have never done this myself, i would imagine that the ice would damage the roots if it were to come into direct contact with the roots.. however I have read about a very dedicated cypripedium grower in a warm climate (i think southern California) that would wrap ice packs around the orchids pot on exceedingly warm days, but cypripediums handle freezing temperatures when they are dormant; i don't know if this helps at all, just putting in my 2 cents

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    I think the water melting off the ice would be too cold and kill the roots eventually but you could use cool water when watering your orchids. make sure your water is not below 55 degrees though

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    But then why does this not kill the phals? Or does it? I've just seen the ads for ice orchids. I've not tried it, but friends have and the orchids apparently don't die immediately. Another thing I've thought of is to put the ice cubes in the trays the plants sit in.

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    I really don't think a couple of ice cubes, would make a 24/7 cool environment for our cool growers, might even do more harm, when temps change so drastically. Altho, I have a friend who has orchids on an outside porch and the only water they get besides rain is a couple of ice cubes twice a week. They are doing fine.

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    Most orchids can take temperatures in the low 50's while some even on the high 40's. Watering with ice will kill the rooting and eventually the plants; the melting point of ice is around 32 degrees so you see now, the water dripping off the ice is way to cold for the plants than watering with just tap cold water that is at least 55 degrees.

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    Then why don't the "ice" orchids, which seem to be mostly if not exclusively phals die? Phals tend to have lots of aerial roots, so an ice cube placed on top of them should injure the roots close to their base. But somehow, this seems to work. I too think it shouldn't work, especially for phals, which are very sensitive to cold.

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    ???? I am not saying it works, i am saying the ice watering method doesn't work, it might work at first but eventually it will kill the plant.

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    I think it just one of many unorthodox ways that occur in every topic and subject. Ice used in vivarium terrarium cooling is popular in the hobby but the ice does not directly drip on the root plant area and is used to cool the ambient temperature only. Its probably only been successful for the minority and for the majority a big no no. this approach is highly dependant on surroundings and environmental factors, circumstances and approach. The probability of each of these factors equaling to reach a point where the ice approach is successful is far outweighed by the chance that it wont. Phals are tropical and highly susceptible to root rot anyway and orchids as a whole respond negatively with sudden change so you may never see growth progress because the plant has decided to 'sulk'. This is similar to the unwritten law of not misting/ watering with cold water as it causes shock and suddenly affects ambient temp. Overal there are two sides to every story and experimenting oneself is the only way. Have you tried concocting a small enclosed area like a tent structure and close/ isolate it off installing fans to create an overal micro climate for your cooler loving species in a sect of their own. It comes down to money, I Know?1

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    I'd expect the ice to kill phals within a couple weeks. I know if I buy one in winter the trip to the car is enough to cause bud blast. But if this didn't somehow work a decent percentage of the time, I'd think they'd be out of business. But they aren't.

    If I give this a try with my kingianums, I'll report back.

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